20 Offbeat Places of Karnataka You Would Love to Explore

Hey there! Ever feel like life’s just one big routine sometimes? You know, the same old, same old every day? It’s like we’re all stuck in this loop, right? But hey, guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way! We all need a break from the monotony, don’t we?

Picture this: kicking back with a cold drink, watching the sun dip below the horizon. Sounds pretty good, huh? Now, let’s talk about Karnataka. You’ve probably heard it’s a pretty sweet tourist spot. But hold up, I’ve got something even better for you – the hidden treasures, the secret spots, the places most people haven’t even heard of! So, next time you’re jotting down your bucket list, make sure to add these offbeat places in Karnataka. Trust me, it’ll be a journey you won’t forget!


A highly unexplored location of Maravanthe where a mesmerising view is shared by National highway where it divides Maravanthe Beach and the Souparnika River. Maravanathe is a village and beach, located near Kandapura is the best place to explore if you want to enjoy a long road trip. A trip to forget all the contemplations and just chill and relax under the calm and cool breeze.


Ancient ruins in Karnataka, India
Ancient ruins in Karnataka, India

Golden Lake or “The land of Golden sand” of Karnataka Honnemaradu is one of the most amazing offbeat places in Karnataka for trips. A petite, serene village, located on the backwaters of the Sharanthi River which is known to be a good sport for picnics and site seeing. Not just that, here you will find various breeds of birds running around, so it is the place for you if you are a bird watcher or a photographer. This picturesque valley is nestled by Honnermaradu Reservoir which makes it an ideal location for camping, eco-tourism and exploring water sports like Kayaking, canoeing, rafting and much more.

Karighatta Black Hill

Karighatta, known as “Black Hill” in Kannada, is engulfed in the historical town of Srirangapatna in Karnataka these revered hills are surrounded by grasslands and forests. It is only about 25 km from Mysore. The location has the most scenic hill. All the tourists who come to worship at Karighatta Temple get a tranquil and the most beautiful view of the Black Hills and the grasslands from the peak point of the temple. If looking for a calm and wishful day this place is a must to go!

Bandaje Falls

Located in the heart of the dense and lush green forest of Western Ghats with the most epic view ever! If you are too an adventurer, then this is definitely the place for you, to trek through a hidden, unexplored pathway into a place with a breathtaking view of the fall. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city and your daily jobs, a fine place to sit and just relax!


This is an unexplored beach paradise in Karnataka. Apart from all the nearby attractions of this place such as Sadashivgad Fort, Venkatrama Temple, Oyster Rock Lighthouse, Kali Bridge, Devbaugh Lighthouse and many more. It won’t be an exaggeration to call it a slightly-known version of Goa, Karwar which is located on the northern-most tip of the state.  It is the perfect spot for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts, where they offer boat rides and numerous other water sports activities. Location blessed with beautiful weather all year long with such pristine beaches.


Ancient temple against a cloudy sky in Karnataka, India
Ancient temple against a cloudy sky in Karnataka, India

Agumbe, an epic hill town of Karnataka with rich biodiversity also referred to as the “Cherrapunji of South India”. This is an ideal location for photographers with particularly beautiful eco-tourism and a breathtaking sunset view. An ambience to just lay back and relax. For adventures out there, this place offers opportunities for camping and trekking. Agumbe is surrounded by various other natural wonders, including Koodlu theertha Falls, Jogigundi, Barkana Falls, and Onake Abbi Falls.


The natural wonder of Karnataka, Shivanasamudra. These picturesque waterfalls are especially spectacular during the monsoon season when the Kaveri River is at its fullest. The lush green forests of Shivanasamudra offer a serene environment and are a perfect spot for nature lovers, photographers, and anyone looking to escape into nature’s beauty. The true beauty of the waterfall lies in the fact that it breaks into multiple channels before dropping over a cliff, creating multiple side-by-side waterfalls.

St Mary’s Island, Karnataka

The 88-million-year-old island, located close to Udupi, is entirely free of inhabitants and commercialization. Just to tell you a secret the immense beauty of this island lies in the scientifically unknown and unproven factor of having unique polygonal rock formations. This geological wonder is a place of absolute peace and serenity; here you can spend hours doing nothing but observing and appreciating nature’s miracle in its most natural form. It’s of the most peaceful places on Karnataka.

Ottinene Secret Beach

Called the secret beach of Karnataka “Ottinene Beach” is located in the region of the Udupi district of Kundapur taluk. The steep mountains along the shore are hit by the full waves of the beach. The palms are high and swing to the brisk wind, soothing the water. The scenery of the beach, surrounded by high palm trees which are brisk with wind is located under a little hillside that houses the Someshwara temple.

Are you also intrigued to know why it has been chosen to be the “most exotic beach in India”? then here you go— this is due to the presence of  Sumana Estuary which merges into the Arabian Sea and creates a most unforgettable scenery. To rejuvenate and heal this is the place to be! It is a place to which you want to return again and again.


The Church of Shettihalli is a ghastly beautiful example of Gothic architecture in India. Sometimes, local people call as the Submerged Church and the Floating Church. The church became an abandoned site in the 1960s, during the construction of the Hemavati Dam and reservoir, which was built by French missionaries in the 1800s.

This surreal splendour piece of the architecture needs to be appreciated, thus one has to visit Shettihalli’s ruins twice a year, first, between July-October, when it is submersed and second, Dec-May when the water retreats and the church ascends to its full splendour.


A pilgrimage centre in Hinduism, Gokarna is one of the many temple towns found in Karnataka. The main deity worshipped is Lord Shiva who is said to have appeared from the ear of a cow here. The beauty of Gokarna is said to be blessed with plenty of places nearby such as beaches, waterfalls, and temples.


Temple in Hampi, Karnataka, India
Temple in Hampi, Karnataka, India

Have you heard of the historical city of Hampi? But you definitely haven’t heard of a city older than Hampi which is situated right here in Karnataka!

Located in the Koppal district, Anegundi, the historical significance of this village is immense. As per the old tales it has also been said that Anegundi is the former kingdom of the Monkey king Sugreev, Kishkinda, and is also the birthplace of Hanuman. If you are in Anegundi, don’t forget to check out the Hunchappayana mattha, Aramane, Kamal Mahal, and many other worthwhile attractions.


Bijapur is a colossal treasure of historical heritage, which is an architecture built in the reign of Adil Shah. It is officially known as Vijayapur or ‘The City of Victory’ and each region within the city is known to harbour its historic significance. Bijapur has a rich history with lines of rulers, ranging from the Yadava dynasty to the Adil Shahi. There are numerous tourist attractions including Ibrahim Rauza, Gol Gumbaz, Bara Kaman, and Malik-i-Maidan.


Are you an adventurer? Then, Dandeli is the place you’ve got to visit! Located on the rocky, dense forests of the Western Ghats, it is mostly appreciated for its undisturbed greenery and the wide range of adventure sports arranged. Here, you can either delve into history by visiting the various temples, or you can go hiking, kayaking, or biking for chill and fun! Not just that, the Dandeli Wild Life Sanctuary is another place to visit to have a look at the range of fauna.


The glorious pilgrimage destination Southadka is located in the Dakshin Kannada district. The uncanny name of the place translates into the ‘cucumber field’. It is known that the place gets its name from the mythological tale—when the royal Ganpati idol was taken to a field of cucumber to protect it from getting destroyed by enemies. In the memory of their lord, the farmers of the field wanted to build a temple. But later they kept their idol in the open air instead of building a temple. To date, the idol of Lord Ganpati sits amidst the green surroundings, attracting pilgrims often.


A mining hotspot of India, a picturesque hill station located in the Chikkamagaluru district, Kudremukh. A paradise of natural resources, famous all over India for housing the second-highest peak in Karnataka, the Kudremukh Peak. An interesting fact to note is that the word ‘Kudremukh’ translates to ‘horse face’, this implies that the peak resembles the face of a horse from a certain angle. Rich in rare species of flora and fauna, Kudremukh National Park contains numerous endangered species. The perfect spot for a Nature lover, Kudremukh is also an adventure spot as several trekkers seek out thrill by climbing to the hilltop.


In the Ramanagara District of Karnataka, there is a delightful small town Channapatna, located on the edge of the districts of Ramanagara and Mandya. Channapatna is famous for colourful toys and coaters designed by brilliant craftspeople and small-scale companies. Thus, the place is also known as Gombegala Nagara, meaning town of toys, in Kannada. The toys of Channapatna are more than just dolls. They can be complicated and moving parts such as rocking horses, rabbits, motorcycles, cars, etc.

If one ever travels to Channapatna, it is best to immerse themselves in the city’s culture and history. This is the city of craftsmen, many of whom work from home or have modest booths in which they sell their artworks. You can visit this place and have a chat with the craftsman and learn about their lives, art and local history. If you visit then don’t forget to pick up some wooden toys which are an excellent work of art!


Bylakuppe is a majestic place you’ll fall in love with it! This place is a refugee settlement consisting of Tibetan monks who migrated to India in the 1960s. It is considered to be the largest Tibetan settlement in the world and is often referred to as ‘little Tibet’. With a little change in the milieu, Bylakuppe is flooded with about 70,000 or more monks. Here, you’ll feel a reverberation of reverence and serenity floating in the air and the place is surrounded by different shops, schools, and nurseries.

To get a true sense of the impressive Tibetan culture, visit the various monasteries, such as the Namdroling Monastery, Tashi Lunpo Monastery, and Sera Monastery. Do you wish to learn more about Tibetan culture? Then, you’ve got to visit Bylakuppe!

Gummanayaka Fort

Untouched by tourists, the ancient Gummanayaka Fort, located near Bagepalli, makes it an ideal hidden gem in Karnataka. It takes about two hours to drive to the fort from Bengaluru. Most people prefer trekking to the fort. Back in 1350, the fort was named after the chieftain who constructed it. Some of the exquisite features of the fort include a multi-layered entrance, a well-planned layout, erotic sculptures, intricate carvings, and a pretty lake. There are some small temples inside the fort as well.


Ancient temple town of Uttara Kannada which served as the first capital of Karnataka during the reign of the Kadamba dynasty. Some of the major attractions of this place are its beautiful temples. Here lies the most significant temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, in Banavasi the Madhukeshwara Temple. Banavasi is also home to an ancient garden called Pampavana, where it has been told that the garden had inspired Kalidasa to write Meghaduta. If you are also a history enthusiast and consider knowing more about the place, then you have got to visit, haven’t you?

These were the hidden gems cum offbeat places in Karnataka you have got to visit at least once! They will take you into another world. A world that you long for, far away from the bustling crowd and busy cities to tranquility and epic beauty of fauna and flora. These places will make you question—is this India? All the pictures you once have seen in Discovery books and channels will come true here. 

Sheena Dawar

Sheena is an introvert who believes words are melodies that stir the soul and colors that paint the canvas of possibility. She embodies the spirit of a poet, breathing life into each syllable and crafting stories that dance in the hearts of those who dare to dream. Sheena has completed her MBA from The Vedica Scholars Programme for Women and degrees in English Literature and Comparative Literature from the University of Delhi. With more than 6 years of experience, she excels in creating engaging content across various platforms, specializing in SEO writing, copywriting and digital marketing. As a brand manager at 9.9 Group, Sheena orchestrates innovative strategies that resonate with audiences and elevate brand presence. Her journey includes stints as a content head and instructional designer, where she curated engaging educational courses for leading ed-tech platforms. Fuelled by a passion for creativity and entrepreneurship, Sheena spearheads her own website, where she curates compelling narratives and mentors a team of writers in crafting SEO-friendly content. Beyond her professional pursuits, she's a fervent advocate for veganism and is embarking on her vegan venture, driven by a commitment to animal welfare, sustainability and ethical living.

Kavya Goswami

Kavya Goswami is an upcoming writer and content editor who believes in the art of words and prose. She is pursuing her Bachelor in Business Administration from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is focusing on her preparations for higher education. She started writing poetries and short stories two years ago when her world revolved around books. She loves reading books of various genres. It is her second year of college, and she has participated in various poetry writing contests and got her name published in a few of them. Currently, she is working on her writing and editing skills to overcome her ambitions. She aims to travel around the world and explore their culture and history

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